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It is strange, in the Church today, that many priests who encourage parishioners to go on processions which honour the Blessed Virgin Mary are reluctant to take part in, or allow, devotion and processions which honour her Son, Jesus Christ, in the Blessed Sacrament. Surely, those who love Mary should be even more glad to show love for her Divine Son!
Just as Christ is no longer a poor carpenter, but our Radiant Saviour, and King of Heaven, so His ever-Virgin Mother, Mary most holy, is no longer a lowly peasant woman but is the Queen of Heaven. There, everyone praises the Father not only for Christ's love and compassion, but also for the amazing purity-of-soul of Christ's Virgin Mother, and for her humility and courage.
Many of the Clergy are content to encourage their flocks in doing good; yet they neglect those people by failing to warn them of the grievous consequences of deliberate rejection of God, the Church or the Commandments. Falsely supposing that a man will be saved, no matter what sort of life he has led, they never mention Eternal suffering in Hell
We can usually see little on a flight. Just as when, on an aircraft, we have little glimpses of bright fields or snowy mountains, so, in the spiritual life, God allows us 'glimpses' of spiritual joys, because He knows one of our greatest dangers is discouragement, and wants us to know that we are on our way to Heaven.
Whoever experiences unusual sights or voices in prayer must pray to God for help in discerning the source of her experiences, and ask someone wise and with authority in these matters. Christ does sometimes encourage His friends with special favours; yet Satan too can speak to the faithful, mimicking Christ, trying to mislead them.
A good leader should always ask himself what effect his words are having upon the ordinary man who listens to him. Is the leader holding out hope of peace and justice; does he encourage the man towards co-operation in goodness, and set him a good example, or is he leading him astray?
Christ is pleased to see the traditional form of the Mass encouraged, yet Christ is Really Present in His Risen glory, after the Consecration, in every valid Mass offered by a Catholic priest, whether the words used are the traditional Canon in Latin by a priest facing, with the people, towards God the Father, or by a priest using the more recent form of words, as the priest stands behind the altar.
Christ sees everything that human beings do. Human life is like a long, dimly-lit corridor; yet though people act in dark corners or behind closed doors, He sees and understands everything people do, whether in hidden areas, behind locked doors, in bright chambers or dark rooms - or in cellars deep underground. He loves sinners, but loathes sin; and so He encourages us all to repent, and He longs for everyone to change.
God, who knows our nature, encourages us in holiness by giving us help, that we sinful humans need: things we can see, touch and feel, such as the water at Lourdes, the image of Our Lady, the grotto itself, the beautiful scenery, and lights and music and rituals, especially the Holy Eucharist.
Christ asks us all to believe that just as some of us, as mothers, have loved to comfort, console, warn and encourage the little infants in our arms, so Our Blessed Lady, Mary, Christ's own beloved Mother, loves to hold and console us.
Jesus told His friends a parable to encourage them to pray and not lose heart. But then He asked, about the future: "When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Today, He is asking us: Can He find faith in our homes? Are Catholic families following the teachings of the Church Christ founded, and teaching them to their children?
It is a terrible thing, in Christ's sight, that some parents encourage their children to sin. They do this if they give their daughters contraceptive pills, or allow them to sleep with boyfriends in their house, or fail to teach the truth about Mass attendance, and the Real Presence of Jesus, and other truths of the Faith.
Some Catholic parents encourage their children towards sinful behaviour and estrangement from God by allowing them to use contraceptives and even to bring their sexual partners to sleep in their home with their children. Parents must once day answer to God for what they have done in leading their children away from Heaven.
To be beset by spiritual assaults in prayer or 'outside' it is like being in a war-zone, amidst sniper-fire, in a street littered with broken glass. We can retreat to a side-street for a few moments; but if we want to win the war we must be courageous, and trust God, and continue with our prayer and our work.
Christ showed me that the person who knows God best is the Christian mystic. She who has been drawn up to the heights of mystical union, in prayer, after her trial and purification, comes to know the Father and Christ, and the Holy Spirit; and she is able to inspire and encourage others to follow Christ's way of love and humility.
It is true that groups of Christians outside the visible unity of the Catholic Church join in Christ's saving work by baptising their members. But it is tragic that those young Christians are often taught mistaken things about faith and morals, and so encouraged to sin - even if their instructors thought they were right, in approving of contraception, divorce and remarriage, even abortion and other evils.
In permitting an evil such as the killing of unborn babies, society contributes to the depressed state of many women. If encouraged to love their babies, they could have flourished, even in difficult circumstances, but having done wrong, and knowing it, many women carry a burden of guilt, made worse at every reminder, or anniversary.
Satan can appear in any form, in the imagination, in order to terrify, weaken, assault or discourage a follower of Christ. The fulfilment of Christ's plans is something he cannot bear to see, and he has all sorts of deceit and trickery which he uses to draw people away from the hard road to Heaven.
A person who refuses to believe in the existence of God or in the possibility of life in Heaven, leads a life as tragic as that of a little worm, underground, who has no idea of the richness of human life, with the literature of Shakespeare or the courage and aspiration shown by Christopher Columbus.
When we are with fellow Catholics on a retreat or a pilgrimage, we have a great opportunity from the Lord - Present amongst us in the Blessed Sacrament - to encourage one another in the Faith, and to declare our faith in Christ and in His Church - although not interrupting people at prayer.
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